Education

Ed. Dept. Fines D.C. Schools on Test Choice

By John Gehring — January 11, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The District of Columbia school system has accepted a fine from the U.S. Department of Education for failing to give exams tied to specific district academic standards.

Instead, the 64,000-student system will again this year give students a norm-referenced achievement test, measuring students’ performance against their peers’, before switching to an exam tied to school district standards next year.

The $120,000 penalty from the Education Department is being imposed because the district in the nation’s capital did not fulfill an agreement that then-Superintendent Paul L. Vance signed with the department in 2002. Under that agreement, the district was required to use a criterion-referenced test—meaning one aligned with its own academic standards—as it, like the states, must do under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“We have no discretion on this,” said Susan Aspey, a spokeswoman for the Education Department. “We’re required to withhold 25 percent of the administrative part of Title I for every year they don’t comply.

“It’s important to note that this only affects the administrative funds,” she continued. “We’re not taking money away from students.”

Ms. Aspey added that the penalty against the District of Columbia for using a test that doesn’t measure specific standards is not the first such action. In 2003, the department withheld administrative funds from the state of Georgia for the same reason.

Meria Carstarphen, the District of Columbia schools’ chief accountability officer, said the district would keep the norm-referenced Stanford Achievement Test-9th Edition for this year, even though district officials began working on fulfilling their 2002 agreement with the Education Department by buying an information-management system and writing test questions for a new exam that would comply with federal regulations.

But Ms. Carstarphen said that after the current superintendent, Clifford B. Janey, was hired in August, he and the school board decided that the academic standards and accountability exams the district had been working on were not adequate.

The school district has instead adopted academic-content standards based on those used in Massachusetts, which have received national praise as being clear and rigorous. The new test, based on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, will be given in 2006.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2005 edition of Education Week as Ed. Dept. Fines D.C. Schools on Test Choice

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Math for All: Strategies for Inclusive Instruction and Student Success
Looking for ways to make math matter for all your students? Gain strategies that help them make the connection as well as the grade.
Content provided by NMSI

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read